KEY POINTS

  • Facebook bans ads for hand sanitizes, COVID-19 testing kits and surface disinfecting wipes
  • This policy is implemented to prevent people from taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Facebook earlier temporarily banned ads for medical face masks

Facebook announced Thursday it is banning commercial listings and advertisements for hand sanitizer, COVID-19 testing kits and surface disinfecting wipes. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook decided to protect people from those attempting to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for monetary gain.

Rob Leathern, head of Trust/Integrity team for ads and business products at Facebook, took to Twitter to share the update. “In addition to masks, we're now also banning hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 test kits in ads and commerce listings. This is another step to help protect against inflated prices and predatory behavior we’re seeing,” Leathern tweeted.

He added that the social media giant is ramping up its “automated enforcement for ads and commerce next week.” The company will also monitor and remove organic posts centered around the aforementioned products.

This latest update came two weeks after Facebook decided to temporarily ban any advertisements and commercial listings for face masks.

Despite the ban, the medical face masks ads were still popping up on Facebook, CNN reported.

It has to be seen how this new ban will be implemented as Facebook also announced that it is sending content reviewers home.

“We recently announced that we’re temporarily sending content reviewers home. We want to make sure our platform remains a safe place for people to connect during this time, but with a reduced and remote workforce,” the company team wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The coronavirus death toll has reached 10,030. There are 244,517 people tested positive with COVID-19. Italy reported 3,405 deaths so far due to this virus. Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order asking people to stay home or at their place of residence. The order was put into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and will remain until further notice. Essential services will be operational and these services include pharmacies, gas stations, grocery stores, farmer markets, food banks, take-out, delivery restaurants, convenience stores, banks, and laundromats.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said an information hub at the top of user feeds was part of an effort to promote "authoritative" content on the coronavirus pandemic Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said an information hub at the top of user feeds was part of an effort to promote "authoritative" content on the coronavirus pandemic Photo: GETTY IMAGES / Drew Angerer